Author Archives for Emily Davenport, Managing Editor

About Emily Davenport, Managing Editor

Mummy to Isaac and twins Jasmine and Maisy, and Managing Editor of the Dairy Diary, Dairy Cookbooks and Recipe Diaries. Printmaker too, when I find the time! Cheery, busy and a little tiny bit cheeky.

5 Ways to Celebrate World Book Night

When is World Book Night

Does anyone remember Why Don’t You?


A BBC series that ran from 1973 to 1995. Their catchphrase was “Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead”. 

Which was a little ironic given that it was itself a television show! However, the sentiment was well-intentioned and gave us children a nudge to change out of our pjs and play.

This Friday why not switch off your tv and do something else?
It’s World Book Night – the perfect excuse to immerse yourself in literature.

Here are 5 ways to celebrate…


1 Read an exciting new novel
Buy from your local bookshop or borrow from your library. Open again now – yay!


2 Listen to an audiobook
Did you know that you can loan audiobooks from your local library? (They loan e-books too.) Find your library online services via your local council website.


3 Gain culinary inspiration
Gather together all your cookery books and make a list of new recipes to try. We have plenty of new cookbooks to choose from here.


4 Broaden your mind – browse non-fiction
This may be an appreciation of beautiful artwork, marvelling at the wonders of the universe, discovering historical facts, or planning new planting for your garden. Whatever your book collection may be – enjoy it.


5 Create your own book
Put together a collection of your own musings and sketches, your favourite recipes, or make a photo book online featuring some of your favourite pics.


Emily Davenport

Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

Regional British Food Part 1: North West

One of the most enjoyable books I’ve worked on has got to be the beautiful Around Britain Cookbook

We shot the images of the iconic flowers to denote each region on a glorious summer’s day in my garden. And many of the recipe shots were also taken outside in Steve, our photographer’s, stunning garden.

This wonderful book takes you on a tour around the regions of Britain, explaining its culinary heritage and showcasing gorgeous regional recipes.

Here, I’m sharing my region – the North West, which includes the Lake District, Cheshire and Lancashire, taking in the great cities of Liverpool and Manchester. From the tarns of Cumbria to the grassy plains of Cheshire, there is a wealth of fantastic scenery and superb food.

Wet Nellie has to be my favourite recipe from this region – what a wonderful name.

Around Britain + Just for 1 or 2 Cookbook Deal £15.50

Don’t miss this bargain bundle!

Around Britain cookbook, plus Just for 1 or 2 for just £15.50 (plus p&p).


Around Britain Cookbook North West Regional Guide

The North West includes the Lake District, Cheshire and Lancashire, taking in the great cities of Liverpool and Manchester. From the tarns of Cumbria to the grassy plains of Cheshire there is a wealth of fantastic scenery and superb food.

Most of the traditional dishes are clearly developed to be suitable for feeding hard-working people who have to cope with a bracing climate.

Many meat dishes would be made with lamb because so many sheep graze on the hills of this region. A typically robust meal would be Lancashire hot pot, a lamb stew incorporating the potatoes and other root vegetables grown so widely in the area.

Similarly appealing to the thrifty is tripe, which is a cow’s stomach lining, usually served with onions, and black pudding, an earthy dish made from blood and oatmeal with many variations, all claiming to be the best.

The famous long Cumberland sausage is another dish that uses the less appealing parts of an animal so that nothing is wasted.

Around Britain Cookbook North West Regional Recipes
Morecambe Bay potted shrimps (page 40); above right: roast lamb with apricots (page 126) and, right, Simnel cake (page 178).

The sea, lakes and rivers provide more delicate flavours, such as the shrimps of Morecambe Bay (page 40) and stuffed herring and trout, which are caught on the line and increasingly farmed in the region. A real local speciality is the mild-flavoured char (page 105), a relative of the salmon, which got left behind in the Lakes after the Ice Age.

This region also boasts two of the finest British cheeses: Cheshire and Lancashire. White, crumbly Cheshire is mentioned in the eleventh-century Domesday Book and was the only cheese that the British Navy would stock on board in the eighteenth century. Lancashire is creamier and is regarded as one of the best cooking and, especially, toasting cheeses as it melts into a velvety mass when heated.

If you’re fond of a cheese sandwich, large wholemeal flour bread rolls, or baps, are popular in the region, being an ideal way to eat in a hurry. They are also known as ‘barm cakes’ after a Lancashire word for the froth on liquid that contains yeast. Similarly long on history are Eccles cakes, small, flat, raisin-filled pastries, which date from at least the eighteenth century. They are closely related to the larger but equally convenient sweet, hand-held and fruity Chorley cake.

Another great Northern comfort food is gingerbread,
closely identified with the Lake District village of Grasmere.

It is usually a crisp spicy biscuit and therefore offers a contrasting texture to the more moist parkin cake that originates across the Pennines in Yorkshire.

Simnel cake (page 178) is now closely identified with Easter, but one early version of it was known as Bury simnel cake at a time when it was traditionally a gift taken by serving girls returning home on Mothering Sunday. Its link with Easter probably stems from the 11 pieces of marzipan used to decorate its top – one for each true disciple.

Finally, have you ever wondered where the Liverpool term ‘scouser’ comes from? It seems to be from a popular Merseyside dish rather like Irish stew, which was similar to a Scandinavian dish known as lobscaus. The stew became known as ‘scouse’, and use of the name broadened to mean a local person.


The Lakes, Lowry and Liverpool

Around Britain Cookbook North West Regional Guide The Beatles

The North West has inspired some of England’s best-known poetry, painting and music. The postcard-perfect mountains and tarns of the Lake District attract walkers and lovers of beautiful scenery from around the world. The landscape is fundamental to the romantic poetry of William Wordsworth, who lived here for over eight years. It was also later home to Beatrix Potter, author and illustrator of the charming children’s stories that introduced us to Peter Rabbit and his friends.

By way of contrast, the industrial landscape of Manchester with its smoking towers forming the horizon was the setting for many paintings by L. S. Lowry. Lowry lived and worked as a rent collector and cashier in Salford, using his spare time to paint scenes of local life populated by his distinctive ‘matchstick men’ in drab urban colours. Although he painted in other styles, too, it was these pictures that eventually earned him fame towards the end of his life before he died in 1976.

By then The Beatles had also made their contribution to popular culture with a huge catalogue of music that is still much loved. The extraordinarily varied songs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, combined with the experimental leanings of guitarist George Harrison and the rock-solid drumming of Ringo Starr, reflected the changing lives of four Merseyside ‘mop tops’ who became the world’s greatest pop stars in the 1960s and led the way in innovating new ways to write and record music.


Emily Davenport

Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

5 Feel-Good Activities to Lift your Mood

Wellness and woodland

Following months of lockdown, home-schooling and solitary working, I have recently introduced Wellness Wednesday to Dairy Diary

 

We spend half an hour or so, each week doing an activity to lift the spirits and regain some of our joie de vivre.

 

Here are some activities that we have tried, which you may also find helpful.

 


 

1 Take a sketchpad and draw a box. Decorate the box with anything you like – felt tips, paint, pencils, collage, in any pattern you like. Then close your eyes and imagine filling this box with everything that makes you feel anxious or stressed. Close the lid and visualise someone that you trust pushing this heavy box out of sight.

 


 

2 Take a slow wander through your local woodland or parkland and really focus on the sounds you can hear; listen to birdsong or the sound of water (if there is any). Then notice how many different colours you can see, in particular how many shades of greens there are.

 


 

3 Take a piece of paper and write I’m grateful for……. at the top. Play some relaxing music (there are lots of playlists on Spotify or Alexa) and write everything and anything you can think of.

 


 

4 Go outside and breathe slowly and deeply. Sit somewhere comfortable and watch the clouds. See what images you can see in the shapes they have formed.

 


 

5 Bake. And while you do so really notice the process: the textures of the mixture, the smell of the ingredients and, of course, the flavour of the finished product. As it’s Easter tomorrow you could bake these cute Mini Simnel Cakes.

 


 

Emily Davenport
Emily Davenport
I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

Why DO the clocks change?

Why do the clocks go forward in the UK

It’s time to ‘spring forward’, as the popular saying goes…

 

Despite the awful weather we have had in the UK recently, now is the time things begin to pick up.

Beautiful flowers start to emerge from the soil, wonderful bird song is back and the evenings gradually get lighter – is it too early to clean up the BBQ?

As we enter British Summer Time (BST) the clocks will go forward one hour, which is great for morning people, not-so-great for people like myself that enjoys a lengthier sleep! However, I am very much looking forward to all the lovely things summer brings with it.

 

Why do the clocks change?

It’s always useful to remember the phrase ‘spring forward, fall back’ when it comes to the clocks change, but why do we change the time twice a year?

READ MORE

 

The clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March.

 

 


 

Emily Davenport
Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

Make the perfect boiled egg

How to make the perfect boiled egg

3 Ways to Boil an Egg

But which makes the perfect egg?

 

We often buy local farm eggs, which come in all sorts of random sizes, and it can be difficult to cook the perfect boiled egg.

I had heard Heston’s method mentioned on radio 4 recently, and so I decided to give it a try.

Heston Blumenthal suggests you just cover the eggs with cold water, bring to the boil, then take off the heat and leave with the lid on for 6 minutes.

It does work and I think it’s more reliable than other methods as I have now tried it several times and not once had gloopy white (eugh). The yolks are always soft too, but I do find the whites ever so slightly rubbery compared to more conventional methods.

 


 

The Dairy Book of Home CookeryThe Dairy Book of Home Cookery, which has a whole chapter on eggs, gives two methods for boiled egg:

 

Method One

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan of enough boiling water to cover them completely.
  2. Bring back to the boil and simmer gently for 5½ -7 minutes, depending on how set you like your eggs.

 

Method Two

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Time from when the water comes to the boil.

 

I grew up on the 3-minute egg method, but my husband favours method one (cooked for 7 minutes). It does mean that you don’t have to watch for the boil and dash over to the timer (useful when you’re frantically packing school lunchboxes) but often the yolk is a little too set for my liking.

My final choice would be method one I think – but I leave the water to boil rather than simmer – for 6½ minutes. It’s not completely fool-proof as egg size does make a difference, but most of the time it does result in the perfect soft-boiled egg.

 

Has anyone ever tried a boiled egg gadget?

I’ve seen them in Lakeland but never tried them.

 

Read more in the 

Emily Davenport

Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

Mothering Sunday Bake

Almond & Raspberry Celebration Cake

Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday and whilst we still cannot see loved ones, there is now light at the end of the tunnel

 

Brighter days will comeWhether it’s for a mum, a gran, an aunt, a neighbour or a friend, now’s a great time to bake for someone who needs a little cheer.

Leave a slice or two in a pretty box on a doorstep to brighten someone’s day and celebrate the fact that there are better times ahead.

 

Almond & Raspberry Celebration Cake

recipe

 

We have a collection of 5 Brilliant Spring Bakes online – lots of scrumptious goodies to bake and share (or just eat!)

Hang on in there folks!

Hugs from us at Dairy Diary.

 


 

Emily Davenport
Emily Davenport
I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.
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